emerging from the united states. what's going on? >> reporter: well, john kerry came out today and said quite clearly that he would not stand in the way of allies of the united states who wanted to arm the syrian rebels. that's not saying the u.s. would do that themselves. they've been very reluctant and the joint chiefs of staff says his understanding of who the rebels were, in fact, got more confused the past year as the rebels gone more extremists. what john kerry's words do is permit the uk and france to begin the process of arming. they've been talking about ev e evading or working around eu sanctions. they are yet to begin the process of handing them over. it's a long, difficult, practical road ahead, but part of the calculation is by saying they'll do it, they might draw president bashar assad towards a negotiation table, put extra pressure on him, wolf? >> joining us from beirut with that story, significant developments. thanks, nick, very much. >>> there are huge problems to tackle in the middle east right now, but the white house is downplaying expectations for the president'